Saturday, November 11, 2006

Veteran's Day

We have just flown a flag in honor of a young soldier who became an official United States American Citizen today and guess what, he is a veteran! He chose this day to be sworn in and for his American flag to be flown in honor of that occasion because he understands the magnitude of what the word “veteran” means.

For those of you who have been a little curious about Veteran’s Day, I have compiled a brief history of how it came to be. I stress this because if it wasn’t for veterans in our country’s past, we would not be enjoying the freedoms we have today and in our children’s futures. Please note that nowhere in the history does it state “Veteran’s Day Sale, Discounts, or Movie Marathon” anywhere.

If you have never been to a memorial service honoring all veterans, you should do yourself a favor and GO! It helps to bring you “back to center” and remember how we, America, came to be. Not because of politicians, national parties or popular trends, it was because of veterans serving their country.

I hope that this entry finds you and yours doing well and know that we are here ready to defend freedom.

1918 World War I, then normally referred to simply as The Great War (no one could imagine any war being greater!), ended with the implementation of an armistice [temporary cessation of hostilities—in this case until the final peace treaty, the infamous Treaty of Versailles, was signed in 1919] between the Allies and Germany at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of November, 1918.

1919 November 11: President Wilson proclaims the first Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…" The original concept for the celebration was for the suspension of business for a two minute period beginning at 11 A.M., with the day also marked by parades and public meetings.

1920 On the second anniversary of the armistice, France and the United Kingdom hold ceremonies honoring their unknown dead from the war. In America, at the suggestion of church groups, President Wilson names the Sunday nearest Armistice Day Sunday, on which should be held services in the interest of international peace.

1921 Congress passes legislation approving the establishment of a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. November 11 is chosen for the date of the ceremony. According on October 20, Congress declares November 11, 1921 a legal Federal holiday to honor all those who participated in the war. The ceremony was conducted with great success.

1926 Congress adopts a resolution directing the President to issue an annual proclamation calling on the observance of Armistice Day. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, most states establish November 11 as a legal holiday and at the Federal level, an annual proclamation is issued by the President.

1938 Congress passes legislation on May 13 making November 11 a legal Federal holiday, Armistice Day. The United States has no ‘actual’ national holidays because the states retain the right to designate their own holidays. The Federal government can in fact only designate holidays for Federal employees and for the District of Columbia. But in practice the states almost always follow the Federal lead in designation of holidays.

1941-1945 & 1950-1953 World War II and the Korean War create millions of additional war veterans in addition to those of the First World War already honored by Armistice Day.

1954 On June 1, President Eisenhower signs legislation changing the name of the legal holiday from Armistice Day to Veteran’s Day.

1968 Congress passes the Monday Holiday Law which established the fourth Monday in October as the new date for the observance of Veteran’s Day. The law is to take effect in 1971.

1971-1975 The Federal observance of Veterans Day is held on the fourth Monday of October. Initially all states follow suit except Mississippi and South Dakota. Other states changed their observances back to November 11 as follows: 1972- Louisiana and Wisconsin; 1974- Kentucky, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, South Carolina, West Virginia; 1975- California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming.

1975 Legislation passed to return the Federal observance of Veteran’s Day to November 11, based on popular support throughout the nation. Since the change to the fourth Monday in October, 46 states had either continued to commemorate November 11 or had reverted back to the original date based on popular sentiment. The law was to take effect in 1978.

1978 Veteran’s Day observance reverts to November 11.


Anonymous Judee Dufresne said...

Hi Coconut Commando, I am priviledged to be writing this to you. I saw your blog as you visited mine somehow. Anyway, I want to personally say thank you from the bottom of my heart for your sacrifice of time, sweat, tears and fears. We are so fortunate to be able to enjoy our freedom here in the US (Lindstrom Minnesota for me) while you are there. I want to say I will hold you up in prayer daily, and that you will be given favor from the Lord in all you do. I will be reading your blog with admiration. I have a daughter 36, a son 34 and another daughter 30. I will be praying for you as if my son was there. He went through the Marine Corp Boot Camp in 1991, I flew to San Diego to watch him graduate. I even wrote an article called Proud to Be a Marine Corps Mom, and they published it in the Chevron that was in 1991. Anyway, hats off to your courage, and fortitude and your faith. God bless you and keep you safe and hopeful. Please feel free to email me for any support. With love and respect, Judee Dufresne

4:43 AM  
Blogger Laureal said...

Hi Comando!

I finally found my way over to your blog to check it out. I'm very impressed with your heartfelt and well researched tribute to Veteran's.


6:52 PM  

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